Over the past twelve months, the Connect4Climate team drew on its many partnerships to put on a host of exciting events worldwide, elevating the voices of youth on the front lines of the climate crisis and driving robust action toward international climate priorities.
Here are five of our 2023 highlights:
Young Climate Innovators Program
In May, Connect4Climate partnered with the World Bank Group Youth-to-Youth Community and Innovate4Climate to launch the 2023 edition of the Young Climate Innovators Program, which empowered a dozen young innovators from around the world to share bold new strategies for upscaling climate action at the 2023 Innovate4Climate event in Bilbao.
To spotlight this program, Connect4Climate produced a special episode of its “A Day in the Life” YouTube series, giving audiences a behind-the-scenes look at Innovate4Climate through the eyes of Young Climate Innovators Joice Mendez and Jabri Ibrahim. Check it out!
2023 World Bank Spring + Annual Meetings
For the World Bank’s annual Spring Meetings in April, Connect4Climate partnered with the World Bank and the Global Partnership for Education to host an Instagram takeover featuring GPE youth leader Temilade Salami, Nurture Nature Global founding advisor Manuj Bhardwaj, and 2022 Max Thabiso Edkins Climate Ambassador Angela Zhong. Zhong reflected on this event, and the rest of her Spring Meetings experience, in an exclusive Connect4Climate article still available on our website.
Connect4Climate also offered its global audience a more intimate look at the Spring Meetings via a dedicated episode of “A Day in the Life,” in which Temilade and World Bank Senior Climate Change Advisor Stéphane Hallegatte shared their unique personal perspectives on the days’ events.
For the World Bank’s Annual Meetings in October, Connect4Climate collaborated with the World Bank social media team to record an exclusive Instagram video in which Moroccan climate justice advocate Hatim Aznague laid out his vision of a livable planet for all.
Building on this theme, Connect4Climate captured a total of six videos in which youth from across the MENA region answered the question: “What Does Ending Poverty on a Livable Planet Mean to You?” Our team synthesized these perspectives to support the World Bank’s promotion of End Poverty Day 2023.
The 8billion Initiative
In June, Connect4Climate launched the 8billion #Film4Climate initiative in partnership with Resilient Foundation and in support of PROGREEN’s Sahel Landscape Restoration Program, led by the World Bank Group. 8billion empowers young people to share their personal perspectives on their regions’ environmental challenges through a series of storytelling workshops.
The first season of 8billion, which premiered on YouTube June 8, showcased the work of youth in Burkina Faso and Mali; the second, which went live December 7, featured stories from Chad. Progam mentor Aché Ahmat Moustapha, an accomplished Chadian filmmaker and activist, shared her experience helping young people maximize their impact as storytellers in Episode 2 of the "Make Your Voice Heard on the Path to COP28" webinar series co-organized by Connect4Climate and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.
Catch up on the insightful 8billion documentary shorts on the WaterBear YouTube channel, and stay tuned to see where 8billion goes next!
And for insight into the impetus behind 8billion, don’t miss this powerful article from 2023 Max Thabiso Edkins Climate Ambassador Tewende Emmanuel Sawadogo on the Sahel’s environmental reality and the need to take local climate narratives global.
Youth4Climate: Sparking Solutions
In October, Connect4Climate partnered with Italy’s Ministry for the Environment and Energy Security and the UN Development Programme’s Rome Centre to deliver the Youth4Climate: Sparking Solutions event in Rome. This landmark event, the third in the Youth4Climate series, invited young climate leaders from all over the world to Italy to present their innovative climate solutions and feed into the global climate agenda.
Connect4Climate captured the amazing Youth4Climate delegates through a range of social media content, including this “worldly wardrobe” compilation, and hosted with UNDP a high-impact session on private sector engagement, where youth had the chance to connect with private-sector companies to roadmap future innovation. Convening seventeen organizations and over 100 youth leaders from 63 countries, this session was a tremendous success.
The COP28 conference in Dubai, which ran from Nov. 30 through Dec. 13, capped off an eventful 2023 for Connect4Climate.
A session from Connect4Climate and We Don’t Have Time shed light on the aforementioned 8billion campaign, while closed- and open-door sessions featuring Max Thabiso Edkins Climate Ambassador Program alums helped catalyze conversation around that amazing opportunity for rising climate leaders, the creation of Connect4Climate and the World Bank’s Youth-to-Youth Community. Ambassadors Ashawnté Russell and Muskan Lodhi joined the World Bank’s Anna Bjerde for a special episode of “Talking Development,” available in full at this link.
Connect4Climate also partnered with the UN Youth Office to launch the "Heart-to-Heart" series of intergenerational climate dialogues, now rolling out on YouTube, and joined forces with the COP28 Youth Climate Champion team to present a powerful new collective poem synthesizing the perspectives of sixteen COP28 International Youth Climate Delegates. "The time for transformative change is now!"
8billion photograph courtesy of Aché Ahmat Moustapha; all other photography by Connect4Climate.